Team Godolphin's Naval Crown sprints to victory in Platinum Jubilee Stakes

Dubai-owned stable score Group race double as the curtain comes down on Royal Ascot spectacle

By Leslie Wilson Jr

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Grandstand finish: Naval Crown (right), ridden by James Doyle, wins the Platinum Jubilee Stakes as Creative Force, ridden by William Buick, places second, at Royal Ascot on Saturday. — Reuters
Grandstand finish: Naval Crown (right), ridden by James Doyle, wins the Platinum Jubilee Stakes as Creative Force, ridden by William Buick, places second, at Royal Ascot on Saturday. — Reuters

Published: Sat 18 Jun 2022, 11:31 PM

It did not take Dubai’s Team Godolphin long to win a second Platinum Jubilee Stakes (G1), Royal Ascot’s most prestigious and valuable sprint, and when they did, they did it in great style on a fantastic final day’s action to British racing’s summer spectacle.

Naval Crown benefitted from a masterly ride from James Doyle to narrowly deny stablemate Creative Force, the mount of William Buick, in a thrilling climax to the six-furlong contest, which was first run in 1868.

Both horses clearly love the Berkshire track and the rivalry that it brings, having finished one-two in the Jersey Stakes 12 months ago. Although it was Creative Force who came up trumps on that occasion, Naval Crown was able to turn the tables on his Moulton Stables companion in Saturday’s exhilarating rematch.

Australian hope Artorius and America raider Campanelle dead-heated for third, just half a length behind the Godolphin pair, in a race that was run at a blistering pace and featured 24 speedballs.

“He’s not short of speed and traveled nicely behind Home Affairs, and he’s done it well,” James Doyle, who is enjoying a stellar season having won both the 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas, told ITV Racing.

“He’s a typical sprinter and has a lot of quality – he was fourth in the Guineas and we now know his best conditions. He was favourite over seven furlongs in Saudi Arabia but we had a stick draw and just ran away with me. Myself and Charlie had a chart about hopeful dropping him back in trip as he had run well in the Al Quoz (at Meydan) where he was fourth.

“He’s a horse that’s certainly not short of speed. It was brilliant.”

Winning handler Appleby, who landed the Group 1 in 2019 with Blue Point, 24 years after Godolphin first won the race in 1995 with So Factual, told Sky Sports: “I’ll be honest, both were in great nick, they were flying up the gallops. They are both tough horses.

‘I’m just lucky to be in the position for these horses to come through my door. This year has gone well so far, but there is still a long way to go.”

Naval Crown brought up a double for Team Godolphin on the final day at Royal Ascot after Noble Truth ran a dominant race from the front to capture the Jersey Stakes for William Buick and Charlie Appleby.

The winner was following in the hoofprints of stablemate Creative Force, who won the Group 3 contest last year and then went on to land the Champions Sprint on British Champions Day.

Buick said: “Noble Truth was much more professional, he has so much energy and he managed to channel it in the right direction. He has lots of speed and today I was able to ride him a little bit, whereas in the past I’ve been a passenger on him.

“He was very tenacious and we’ve always thought a lot of him, he certainly has the ability.”

Godolphin won this contest back in 2016 with the Richard Fahey-trained Ribchester.

Naval Crown was Appleby’s fourth winner of the meeting following on from Coroebus in the St James’s Palace Stakes and Secret State in the King George V Stakes.

However, Appleby was denied a fifth winner when Hurricane Lane had to take a bow to the outstanding Broome, who made all under a brilliant tactical ride by Ryan Moore to win the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes.

Sent off as the favourite Hurricane Lane could only finish third.

Broome, who is bred Down Under and takes his name from the Western Australian city, gifted Aidan O’Brien his fifth success of the week, and Moore his sixth.

After the race, O’Brien, who celebrated his 900th Group or Graded winner, paid tribute to Moore, saying: “It was a brilliant ride and he has done an incredible job with this horse.

“One thing strange about the horse is that he seems to be coming to his peak after all these years, so I think we will see the best of him this year.”


>> 7 UAE winners at Royal Ascot 2022

Day 1

Queen Anne Stakes (G1) – Baaeed (Shadwell)

St, James’s Palace Stakes (G1) – Coroebus (Godolphin)

Wolferton Stakes (L) – Dubai Future (Godolphin)

Day 3

King George V Handicap - State State (Godolphin)

Day 4

Commonwealth Cup (G1) - Perfect Power (Sheikh Rashid bin Dalmouk Al Maktoum)

Day 5

Jersey Stakes (G3) - Noble Truth (Godolphin)

Platinum Jubilee Stakes (G1) - Naval Crown (Godolphin)

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